The country has been shaken since Sunday by a protest that erupted following a rise in the price of gas. Vladimir Putin and his Kazakh counterpart spoke on the phone in order to “restore order”.
The former head of the national security agency of Kazakhstan was arrested for treason, after being dismissed following the riots which shook the country where the situation remained very tense on Saturday.
Kazakhstan, the largest country in Central Asia, is shaken by a protest that erupted last Sunday in the provinces before spreading to other cities and especially to Almaty, the economic capital, where the demonstrations turned into chaotic riots and murderers.
Russian President Vladimir Putin and his Kazakh counterpart Kassym-Jomart Tokayev had a “longtelephone conversation to discuss the crisis situation in Kazakhstan, the Kremlin said in a statement on Saturday. “Presidents exchanged views on steps taken to restore order in Kazakhstan“The statement read, adding that the two leaders agreed to stay in touch”permanent“.
An investigation launched for high treason
The National Security Committee (KNB) announced that its former director, Karim Massimov, 56, had been taken into custody on Thursday after the launch of an investigation into “high treason“. Tension persisted on Saturday in Almaty, where warning shots from the police were heard from time to time to prevent people from approaching the central square, noted an AFP journalist.
The car of a 68-year-old pensioner, Leonid Kiselyev, was hit by a bullet early in the morning as it passed near official buildings. “The situation was calm, so I got out my car“, declared in the tail of a service station Leonid Kiselyev, visibly shocked, showing the impact of the projectile.
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For his part, former Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev came out of his silence on Saturday to call on the population to support the government and “allow him to overcome this crisis and guarantee the integrity of the countryits spokesperson, Aidos Ukibay, wrote on Twitter. The 81-year-old former leader also warned of “false informationin reference to the rumors circulating in some Kazakh media about his alleged flight from the country.
This is the first time that the former head of state has spoken since the start of the deadly riots that have shaken the country. Beyond the price hike, the anger of the demonstrators is directed against Noursultan Nazarbayev, who has remained in the shadow of power and whom they accuse of corruption.
He reigned over the country from 1989 to 2019 and retains great influence. He is considered the mentor of the current president, Kassym-Jomart Tokayev. The latter on Friday authorized the security forces to “shoot to kill” in order to stifle any rebellion and, with the support of Russia, ruled out negotiating with the demonstrators.
A contingent of Russian troops and other allied countries of Moscow arrived in Kazakhstan on Thursday to support the power in place by protecting strategic buildings and supporting law enforcement.
More than 4,000 people arrested
The troubles that are shaking this country of 19 million inhabitants are of concern to Western countries. European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen and French President Emmanuel Macron called on Friday for the “end of violence» and to the «detention“.
Chinese President Xi Jinping hailed the “strong measurestaken by the Kazakh President. The head of American diplomacy Antony Blinken warned on Friday that he would be “very difficultto obtain the withdrawal of Russian troops.
Kazakh opponent Mukhtar Abliazov, a political refugee in France, assured AFP on Friday that a “revolutionwas on the march in his country and denounced the “occupationof Kazakhstan by forces from Moscow. In a sign that the situation had not returned to normal, Almaty airport said it would remain closed at least until Sunday.
Authorities claimed that 26 “armed criminalshad been killed and more than a thousand demonstrators injured, the security forces also reporting 18 killed and 748 injured in their ranks. More than 4,000 people were arrested. These figures could not be independently verified.
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